Out of curiosity, I asked her again! “Ade, are you not going to settle down in a long-term relationship, get married and have at least a child?” She gave me a long look, and a tear dropped from her left eye, and what came out of her mouth crippled me! For a moment, I wished I could turn the hands of the clock back to two minutes earlier! Again, I thanked God I asked that question. She needed someone to open up to and the moment was just right!
She replied: “I know you have asked this question before, and I lied to you, but I will tell you why I might not!” I hate men! I can’t stand the smell of a man on the same bed with me!
You hate men? Keith is a man, and your very close friend Ade. Why the tear? There is more to this isn’t it? I asked her. Talk to your big sis darling. I encouraged her, while moving closer to give her a warm hug. Ade and I had met on a consulting project a year ago, and had hit it off right away. She took my jokes and gave them back to me without searching for it. We always had a good laugh. We kept in close touch ever since. She jokingly called me “big sis” which stemmed from me harassing her I was two months older than her. I didn’t like to see her this way, but it was okay, because I knew she needed to get it out. Sometimes, tears are part of a healing process.
With her throat clogged with saliva, she bravely said to me while looking me straight in the eyes: “I was molested as a child by my first cousin who is 11 years older than I!” For a moment I was filled with fury. My heart stopped beating. “What? Noooooo! 11 years older? How did it happen? How old were you? What was this cousin of yours thinking? Is this cousin still alive? This cousin must definitely be cursed! How does he/she sleep at night? Have you told anyone in your family? Sorry Ade, I shouldn’t bombard you with questions. I am so sorry.” I hugged her tightly, we cried together for a good five minutes at the least. Then I remembered, I am supposed to be strong for her and not make her feel bad. I pulled away, looked her in the eyes and said: “I need answers to my questions Ade. We are going to start dealing with this from now on!”
She went ahead and told me the gory details of how as a little child, she would travel to another city on holidays to her cousins’ and how she was threatened and forced to participate and do things that I can’t type here by this cursed soul. Unfortunately, while in her third year of Secondary School, her mother had to travel out of the Country for several months, and wanted her to have “good mother-like supervision” while she was gone, and sent her again, to the same family which this cursed individual is a part of, because by that time, her uncle had relocated with his family to same city as Ade and her family. Only if her mother knew, she would never had! One decision her mum still blames herself for till date says Ade. Only if she had known!
Ade moved in with her uncle, his wife and their cursed child as well as four grandchildren. This gave “Bola” an additional victim to add to his list! Bola apparently had been sexually molesting his three nieces since ages 1, 3 and 5 years old! None of the girls could confide in anyone. That is part of the African culture I do not get! Children dare not say certain things for fear of not being believed, but in their case, for fear of what would happen to them if they dare speak out! They had been warned!
To answer your question, I had to say something when I relocated to Australia and I was rushed to the hospital and was asked some pertinent questions necessary for my treatment. I was assigned a counselor who gave me the courage to call home and break the news to my mother. I am glad I did, however, it was the beginning of what would remain a nightmare for me in her family. The news-break led to new developments. Many turned me into the family’s enemy. My uncle apparently was distraught, and as the good man he was, he apologized at any given opportunity to my parents till he passed. Bola’s siblings except one, casted me aside, obviously took to their brother’s side, however, they “protected their daughters from him!” Interesting isn’t it? I really wonder at times what their conscience tells them. I know they can’t stand me because I divulged their family secret, their family’s curse!
The crux of this was when his older sister – Ladipo, came for a conference in Australia in 1999, and my mother called me that she – Ladipo would like to stay after the conference and begged I hosted her. I remember telling my mum I did not want any issues, but mum, with the good heart she has, pleaded and asked I do it for her, and her brother – my uncle. I accepted and regret that gesture till date.
Ladipo came, and I ensure she was comfortable. Everything was fine till one day when her niece (one of the victims) called me and spoke to her because I had pleaded with her to, and they had a good argument and her niece insulted her and hung up! After they hung up, I told her she was wrong. I asked her if after the news about Bola’s unspeakable act broke out and it was confirmed that her nieces were victims, if she had reached out to the girls. Ladipo looked at me in the eyes and said: “What has Bola done that is unheard of?” I was furious! I looked at her, smiled at the same time crying, and told her: “Really? Have you asked your only daughter Busayo if he tampered with her?” I can still remember her response: “Ehn! My Busayo? God forbid. I will kill Bola when I get back to Nigeria. My Busayo, my only daughter!” At that point I told her: “You are a heartless being. Your Busayo? Did you forget that we – your cursed brother’s abused, are somebody’s daughters too?” Well, needless to say, that was how things fell apart. She started to ignore me in my own humble apartment. If I greeted her, she would not reply. Then, four days later, she told me she wanted to leave for another city. Since I was the one that paid for her ticket from her conference location to my city, I was able to change her ticket immediately. I changed it to the next day and told her. She then said she did not want to leave that soon, but alas! It was already late – the changes had been made, and I was ready to let her out of my sight! She left, and apparently went to the daughter of one her bosses and got a definition of “welcome to Australia!”
When she returned to Nigeria, she gave every member of the family that cared to listen a different version of the story. “Ade was rude to her.” She never told anyone what she had said that prompted Ade’s rudeness! Those that do not think deeply, but take stories and fly with it flew with it, and I just noticed many attitude changing towards me. “Ade is a rude girl” they all sing! No one becomes rude for no apparent reason they obviously did not think! They cannot stand my guts because I have decided to stand up against them. I do not care for, or about them either. For whatever reasons, I believe “Karma is in the works” – Bola had gone on to marry, and God blessed him with THREE DAUGHTERS!!! God does not take long with His mysteries does He? As for Ladipo, she continues her best at tarnishing my image to anyone she has the opportunity to, which is okay. She apparently holds a significant position in her Church, yet her heart is filled with evil. I feel like going up to the leader of her Church and reporting her. As sad as it is, and I know I shouldn’t think this way, but I pray at least one of her descendants experience such as I experienced while she is still alive. Maybe she would then have a “come to Jesus moment.” I have, however lost all sort of respect for her.
Ade, please stop. It is okay. I can feel your pain darling, but talking about it helps you know? Leave the revenge to God. You are obviously doing better without their support except in this arena, and you know I want to plan your wedding. We both laughed and talked some more.
Readers, childhood sexual abuse is shockingly a common and widespread issue. It happens daily to both sexes. Victims do develop a variety of negative emotional and behavioral effects which unfortunately does extend into their adult life most especially when they do not have the necessary and needed support from their loved ones.
More than bruises are left with most children who were molested – anger, anxiety, hatred, lack of trust, depression, some engage in self-destructive behaviors such as alcohol and drug abuse, self-mutilation, eating disorders, insecurity which of course is a sibling to low self-esteem. Some victims have sexual dysfunction – either promiscuous which of course increases their odds to becoming pregnant, and some have a phobic response to sexual intimacy. Some end up as homosexuals.
If you are a victim, there is HELP! Get help! Send me a private message and we can locate resources close to where you stay. You do not have to do it alone. You do not have to keep it a secret. YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING WRONG.
If you know a victim, reach out to them. Support them. Do not join in casting them aside.
If you know a victim that you have joined others to cast aside, I want you to say this to yourself: “May my offspring go through what he or she went through! Amen” If you cannot sincerely say that to yourself, and I really pray you can’t, RETRACE YOUR STEPS. Ask for forgiveness first from God, and from the person you have joined in victimizing. Remember, God does NOT like ugly!
This article is based on true events, however, has been fictionalized and all persons appearing in the article are fictitious. Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. – VTI©
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